Hey? My name is Tia.
Do you ever feel really confused? Because I do, like... a lot.
What am I other than the walking advert for mental health? Ps. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder two years ago. I can be really happy for no reason and throw myself around like a fairy, sprinkling smiles at everyone I pass or I’m suicidal making a blue print in omy head of the most extra way to die; without suffering and then freaking out about my two cat’s eating my corpse, because no one would bother to check if I was alive for at least a month. Or I’m so full of rage to the point I’m throwing plates at the wall at 3 AM, screaming like a psychopath.
Funny thing, people always describe me as a nice person, “oh this is Tia, she’s lovely” and I feel this lump form in my throat because it’s such a lie, “oh no, I’m actually a b*tch” then everyone laughs, “you’re funny too!” they would say, but when I do something mean or most likely say something mean, they’re shocked, degusted, hands over their mouth disbelief.... but seriously guys, I told you? Then I feel more confused because I don’t intentionally lead people on to believe I’m nice, I wouldn’t describe myself as false, I’m just myself and that self is mean yet people see the opposite, I need to work on that, right?
For someone that is mean, I sure love a lot of romantic movies; I’ll lie on the sofa squealing like a teenage girl when they finally kiss. I then feel sad after because I come to terms over and over that I will never have a romantic happy ever after, like it’s so depressing. These sixteen year olds have this beautiful high school fairytale, it makes me feel sick. When it comes to my love life, I have had two relationships, if you want to call it that, one was to a guy that had bigger issues than me and than the other was a drug dealer who just wanted to make his ex jealous; that one went on and off for two years finally ending with a court order. Well, my mama was never very gifted at dating great men, she had the odd few that were alright, my dad... obviously the best but he slipped through the net and she never knew what she had until he was gone. He’s a great guy.
You know, I always fancied myself a movie star, I love photography and filming. I even write my own screen plays and imagine them as big screen hits. Ha! You know, I see myself as a poorly written film just waiting for the right director to take a risk and turn me into an Oscar winning adaption. I really hope they cast Chris Pratt as me.
Not many people know I am a twin and when they find out they automatically assume there’s another girl, I often wonder what it would have been like to have a twin sister...but no I have a brother and no we are not close, in fact we could’ve be any more different! When we get on we really get on, which is rare; but when we fight it’s worse than WW3. We don’t talk often and nowe do not have ‘twin powers’, the only twin powers we have is his ability to annoy me real quick.
We was born 33 weeks into my mother’s pregnancy, I’m convinced it’s something he did to terminate the once sailing pregnancy. Sandra, my dear mother, always smiled when she spoke of the day I was born, she always wanted a daughter. My twin likes to tell people he wasn’t wanted out of some kind of sympathy act; only because it’s believable when you see how close mama and I are. I wouldn’t say that was true at all, she said she wanted a girl but she still kept him, she could have gave him to my dad when they separated like in ‘Parent Trap’ and years later we fatefully meet for the first time at Summer Camp... oh wait, that movie could have gone so differently if the twins were boy and girl.
The baby years of my life were great, what I can remember of it... which is nothing so I am only assuming it was fine. Apart from sharing not just a crib with twinny, but my pushchair, dummies, toys and first birthday. Things didn’t start getting tough until I started school in a different universe, when I mean universe, I mean Kent. “Do you dislike Kent?” yes, very much so! “But people from Kent are so nice” I agree... and I disagree, especially when it came to my childhood memories.After my grandfather passed away, a sweet gentle giant, we he was a giant to four year old me. I was his ‘silly banana’ as he would call me. My grandma hadn’t handled it well and shortly before we turned seven, Mama moved to the land of Kent from London to be with her mother. I attended Horsted Junior School where the one thing that twinny and I had in common brought us closer together. We were black, to be precise we are ‘mixed race’, I believe people now call it ‘biracial’ but to be honest I hate that term because it sounds like a sexual preference not an ethnicity. Racism was still a thing and will always be a thing, no matter how hard we try to fight it; protests and speeches we do; one racist creature will birth the next racist creature and that hate will pass on to every generation of theirs unless a miracle happens and one generation wakes up and sees we are human too, we actually have a heart and feelings. Twinny and I were bullied violently and what memories I should have of a loving fun childhood at primary school is burned into my brain as the years I learned it wasn’t a good thing to have a black daddy in Kent. Children would pull my curls;
call me very hurtful names about my beautiful brown skin, I even felt some of the teachers were distant from me, except Miss Chapman, she was kind. Mama was always up and down the school threatening to beat the mini Hitler's if they continued to keep me and twinny from playtime games. One girl called Emily, she was very inventive when it came to dirty looks before passing me in the lunch hall; they were almost as dirty as the Cow taking a dump in the farm scenery above the kitchen, that picture always put me off my chocolate mousse pudding. It wasn’t all bad for long, eventually I finally met a girl when I moved classes, her name was Abigail and we became the best of friends, she did'nt see a colour, she saw me; a lonely child sitting under the oak tree alone, watching other children play games. After that followed Margaret and Samantha and then my first crush Perry who told me in the toilets he liked this very tall girl called Sophie, I have no idea what it is with the name Sophie, but girls that have that name seem to have a habit with stealing my man.
Mama still wasn’t happy with the bullying situation, even though I had managed to make friends the bullying was still very active and Reece, my twin expressed it with very dark drawings of him mass murdering the entire school with a sword. There was a lot of blood, a lot. So, trying to protect what was left of our childhood and mental health, mother moved back to London. Although I never saw Abigail, Margaret and Samantha again, I was finally back where I felt human and our old arrangement of seeing daddy on weekends was back in swing. Being in Kent meant we hardly got to see him as much. It did take a couple of tries before we could settle down again, I started at Montem Primary based in Hornsey, it was a non uniform school which was weird at first because I thought that was an American thing, I developed an obsessive crush (well any crush I have is never healthy) on the first aid man on the first day, he had jet-black hair combed back, white shirt with a few loose buttons and leather jacket; he defiantly had a motor bike. Through him is how I would meet another girl called Sophie who would ruin my life in a few years time, she told everyone he would drive her home and no one could fancy him because he was hers, keep in mind we’re primary school children, this was either a lie or he was going to end up on a different kind of register. In the end Montem just wasn’t the school for me, mum made us stay there for a week while she looked into other schools. That’s when she found Duncombe Primary School and honestly, I never wanted to leave. It was the best school in the world, our head master Mr O’shea deserves an award for the care and support he brought to all the children.Duncombe couldn’t have been any more great, my teacher was called Richard and he liked me a lot if I do say so myself, I liked him too because he was always so fun to be around. I would sit on his lap whilst drawing pictures that he would always put up on the wall; sometimes he would even give me piggy backs around class. I like to call him the male ‘Miss Honey’ from Matilda, yes, sure people on the outside may think his... teaching methods were different and minor favouritism towards me, but with a child that suffered with severe abandonment issues it helped me stop wailing for my mother; because in a way he was like a parent to me. Richard didn’t stay long, one day he just never came back to school and to this day I long to know why? The students in my class liked to make up stories about him because he was a little... what’s the word? Slow? Is that mean? One girl said he ‘fell from a ladder and hit his head’ whilst I just thought he was a gentle man who enjoyed the company of children, nothing wrong with that, look at Michael Jackson. I dislike the stigma around men working with children, no one questions a woman openly loving children, but if a man felt more happier with younger people suddenly there’s something wrong!
Soon after Richard left and we were replaced with New Zealand native, Rachael; I fell very ill. That day was very odd as I stood with my mama in the long Post Office line, waiting for her to withdraw her money. Only I could not remember getting there, why wasn’t I at school? I was at school helping lay the books out for class, now I’m here? I recall feeling as if I hadn’t slept for a week, my body felt like a bag of rocks. Mama was halfway up the other end of the Post Office when I turned around, I hadn’t the energy to catch up so I sat down to rest and before I even got the chance to touch the floor everything faded out. I opened my eyes and I’m strapped to an ambulance bed, I’m outside of the Post Office and there is a crowd of people watching these medics pull me in. My mum is waiting anxiously to get in and then it all goes black again, faded like before. I had twelve seizures that day, they were so bad they had to anaesthetize me to prevent further damage to my brain; I was unconscious for a week before I woke. I don’t remember much as every seizure I had would wipe out days or weeks of short term memory.
This was my life from that day on, in and out of Great Ormond Street Hospital or Whittington; it took them months before they could come up with a diagnosis to why a healthy eight – going on nine year old was having violent seizures all of a sudden. “Miss Thompson, your daughter has Epilepsy...” I wasn’t sure what that was at the time; however I had two types of Epilepsy that took far too long to control, in the end they found a medication that controlled my seizures and it was the most repulsive medication they could find. Mama had to pin me down and force it down my throat, it tasted like mouldy milk and that’s not even me being a drama Queen.
Of course this can’t have been easy on twinny, he spent a lot of time with our dad as mum was at the hospital a lot with me, he felt left out a lot. I destroyed a lot of lives because even my mum had to quit work. I quickly fell behind at school and we discovered the seizures caused long term damage to the left side of my brain which caused some learning delays that would affect me even into adulthood. I was given a learning assistant in class which my friends liked to take advantage of. Once I reached year five, the teachers started using electronic whiteboards and projectors, the future had come and it was as if we were in a movie, everything could be done with a magic little pen. Except I couldn’t use it because I found out the hard way the bright lights triggered my seizures. It was decided that the school would take me out of the magic whiteboard classes and I’d sit in a little room with my learning assistant Charlie. Since I had to sit out of class a lot, all my friendships ended quite quickly, being ill was kind of isolating and I guess it taught me how to be alone, something that would come in handy later on in life.
“Mum loves you more than me, you’re her favourite!” every argument with Reece and that was his reason to be my own personal live in bully. He failed to understand I needed our mum; I depended on her to give me my medications and also keep me alive if he remembers the swimming pool incident that summer. So mum told the lifeguard upon entry that I was epileptic and to keep an eye on me. That day Reece decided he was a big boy and no longer needed his arm bands, me being just weird thought it would be fun to put his armbands on with mine, I looked liked an advert for over protective parents. It also saved my life. I don’t know how long I was in the water but it was a hot day and heat was on the list of things that trigger for my seizures. Mama was lying on the grass next to the outdoor swimming pool with a friend intrusting my life with the guards; she said she looked up and couldn’t see me; panicking, mum sprinted over to the side of the pool and spotted the bright yellow armbands straight away. I was face down mid seizure and not one person noticed me. The lifeguards were occupied with a group of girls in bikinis; mama dived in and after noticing my mum struggling to control me, they too dived in and tried to help. If it wasn’t for my mum I would be dead. I woke up under a towel; she stopped calling the ambulance after every episode, now having taken training on how to help me, the only time we went to the hospital was if I had more than two in a row. “Go back to sleep Tizzle” she whispered and put the towel back over my face to guard me from the sun.
Whittington Hospital and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, I owe you my life, thank you to the hard working nurses and doctors that cared for me and even though it was disgusting, thank you for finding the right medication to help me have a normal childhood and later, adulthood.
I came into this world weeks early to the point even my survival was questioned, is it possible that the rest of my life will just be this huge question mark? All I could do was pray for the future I wasn’t sure I’ll even see.
A week before I was to finish primary school I was called out of class, I was led to the top of the building to a small room, my picture of a lion was still on the wall in the corridor from one of my Special Needs assessment. Inside the room were two women dressed very formal as if they were attending a job interview, they had a folder on the table and one had a folder on her lap. They began to ask questions about my mum, I told them honestly which I was not aware would put her in great difficulty later on. I hesitated about putting this in, but I have already confessed I was a mean human, so what’s the harm? I had had an argument with my mum that morning, so out of spite I told them a lot of things that were simply untrue because I –out of anger, decided I’d rather live in a children’s home. Your anger has a way of coming back and biting you on the ass, I will later learn. They were social workers.
Mama went back to work just as I started Secondary School; my seizures were a lot more controlled with an episode here and there. She worked at a massage sauna close to my school; Grieg City Academy, close to Wood Green. After school I would go and collect the house keys, twinny would have football practise, so it would just be me, our seven cats and a dog called Monkey. I would do my homework ...rarely- and then play with my dolls until mum came home. She was a receptionist with her old school friend Linda. I cannot remember the exact moment she changed, however she wasn’t the mum I used to have, she was different. Mama began to lose weight and often lock herself in her bedroom; she had changed her shifts and would work into the early hours. Sometimes she didn’t come home so our attendance at school declined.
I woke up during the night terrified, mum had forgot to leave the lamp on; what was worse she wasn't in bed. Looking at the clock I realised my mama would have come up to bed by now since it was a school night. I slept in my own bed rarely; it had been this way since the day I could remember. Sandra told me she wouldn't put us in a cot because she was afraid twinny and I would stop breathing; Reece slept with her until he was one years old. I walked down the many flight of stairs to the kitchen on the ground floor as we lived in a town house in Hornsey. She was seated at the table with Linda. “Tiz, you should be in bed” she sighed, sleepily I climbed on to her lap almost burning my head on the cigarette hanging on her bottom lip; I laid my head on her chest, my hair tangling in her chains. With half her bottom still on the chair and her daughter clinging to her like a baby orang-utan; she stretched over to the counter to switch the kettle on. I don’t know and will never know anyone who drank as much coffee as mum and I like to blame her form my addiction. There is nothing better than coffee and biscuits! I may have had my eyes closed for most of the time but I listened to everything. I then watched as Linda discreetly pulled out a little clear pouch of white ‘crumbs’, she crushed it into dust and sprinkled it into her roll up. “What’s that?” I asked, “None of your business” she laughed with a quick smirk in my direction. I knew it was something bad either by instinct or by the fact they said nothing after. I don’t recall mama touching any of it that night, well, not while I was there that is. “Fairy dust” Linda finally said and then they both roared with laughter. Sleepy and annoyed by their dishonesty I took myself to bed. That was the first time I saw drugs and it wouldn’t be the last.
After that night mama felt comfortable with me sitting in on her solo sessions without Linda. She would have a cloth over the one lit lamp leaving the room eerily dark and her shadow like a ghoul reflecting on the ceiling every time she moved the candle to the floor. She found it easier to have a candle than a lighter; she wouldn’t burn her fingers when lighting the bottom of her crack pipe. She sat there puffing away like a teenage pot head, except this wasn’t pot. Not that I ever needed to know how to smoke crack but I got the 101; what started out a couple of times a week turned quickly into every single night. Every other night I’d sit on her bed, she would be on the floor with her candle and I'd have my colouring book, Barbie dolls and again rarely my homework; quietly listening to her breathe in poison. Now and then she would tell me to look away, her voice husky. She wouldn’t mind me watching her crush the crack up on a small mirror with her bank card or blade; but watching her smoke it made her feel uncomfortable. I was intrigued- almost mesmerised and felt nothing else; I did not feel disgust at all, after a while this was as normal as watching your mother do the washing up. What her family fail to realise, no, actually what they did not appreciate was when it comes to my mum, she had battled with her drug addiction since she was sixteen. She quit drugs in her late teens-early twenties and stayed away from it, all the way up to now - her early forties. She may be an addict, but she would go through long periods of time; years even, without anything. I will always be beyond proud of her for always fighting and succeeding even if it wasn’t forever, she still overcome those demons every time. Mum you are strong, brave and beautiful inside and out.
I’m not sure why, however when I sat with her or even watching her and even hearing her, brought comfort. I would never imagine telling someone that watching someone you love smoke drugs was soothing. Perhaps it all ties in with having abandonment issues. A wild guess, I’m not even sure if it is even that; as my mama would tell her friends how she could never leave the room when I was a baby, because I would just instantly know and scream, waking up twinny. Sandra had to carry me wherever she went. I suppose I’m clingy? –I hate clingy people yet I’ve just realised I’m probably the most clingy person alive, I basically hate myself. As the addiction got more intense and our class began to learn about drugs and it's dangers at school, I became paranoid that my mother would fall victim to an overdose. This terrified me to the point I started turning the alarm off in her room at night, so she would overlay. “Well there is no bloody point sending you to school now is there?” she would shout "It’s gone lunchtime!” I could tell it frustrated her, because our absence would trigger an alert with social services that were now already so active in our life. They weren’t very concerned at this point with our safety and they were aware my mother was actively taking drugs, there were simply monitoring her and my stunts with the alarm clock were not helping matters. Really, it was just a waiting game before they would pounce in like a predator and break up this family home. Sandra would refuse to let Reece see her in action, mainly because Reece would most defiantly tell daddy. Mama had come clean to daddy a while ago, however she did not want him to know she was taking it as often as she was. She would give him his pocket money earlier just to get him out the way; I would play on the landing with my dolls and warn her if I heard him coming up the stairs.
The months went by, I would wake up and mum was not in bed; panic stricken I would almost fall down the stairs trying to get to the bottom of the stairs. She wasn’t in the front room- nor the bathroom next door- she certainly wasn’t in twinny’s bedroom on the same floor, I run down the last set of stairs and she's not in the kitchen (now I’m really scared) she’s not in the ground floor toilet, “mummy!” I screamed. My mum is not in the house at all and I’m full on having an anxiety attack! I wrapped up, still in my night clothes and walked all the way to the Sauna near Elthorne Park. Children were not allowed in the sauna, even being seen outside the premises could get the owner in a lot of trouble, I could only imagine the weird things that go on in there. They’re basically brothels with a posh name. I spent a lot of time in there, mum would sneak me past the cameras and make me sit in the area where the camera wouldn’t see me, if a customer came in she would wave at me from the reception and I’d run into the steam room and hide. Once she locked me in the basement because the owner made a surprise visit, which was the scariest moment, when you’re a kid standing in a dark dusty room underground wanting to scream in the dark and not being allowed to. She’d open the door and I’d run into her arms sobbing, she would apologise over and over, she abandoned me but she always came back and that matters. “She’s not here, love” the receptionist shrugged, she was a nice Thai woman, often worked the same shift as mum. I thought hard, the only other place she could be at this time would be Joe’s- her close friend and also dealer. His name isn’t Joe but it’s best I don’t use his real name. For a dealer he came off as a kind Jamaican man who loved his daughter. I despised that he gave Sandra drugs; then again I had to consider it was better that she buy from someone she knew instead of a complete stranger who wouldn’t care less what he gave her. I then walked to his flat, cold from the autumn night; his flat wasn’t far from Seven Sisters so I hadn’t had to walk long. I banged on the door half a dozen times yet not even the light switched on; he lived on the top floor I peered up. Usually he hangs his head out of the window to see who is knocking. I began to shout my mum, tears streaming down my eyes; I would not go home until I knew where she was. What if she ran away? What if she had been kidnapped? Hurt herself or worse, overdosed and they hid her body! Then a tall black man came to the front door. “Is my mummy there?” I sobbed, “who’s your mum?” he asked, “Yazmin" see no one other than her family addressed her as 'Sandra' her birth name, when she moved to London she kinda reinvented herself after meeting a lovely Arabic man who christened her Yazmin or Yaz for short and taught her Arabic. Mum was fluent it German and Arabic. He nodded and I beamed with excitement, she's here, I found her! I followed him in quite happily, not thinking the dangers of following a strange man into a flat. The hall was dark and Joe’s very aggressive guard dog barked at my presence from the kitchen. I followed the man into the living room just as mama stumbled out of the bedroom. The second she saw me she straightened her posture and acted ‘normal’, I knew she wanted to beat my ass for being out of bed. “I'll be a minute, go watch the TV, Tizz” she basically threw the remote at me. There wasn’t much of a choice on TV shows since his makeshift aerial made from an old coat hanger only picked up two channels. I waited for what felt like forever I just wanted us to go home. There was a man slouched back on the armchair opposite me; so high I wasn’t sure if he was asleep or dead.
Finally we left, we she stopped at a corner shop on the way and she treated us to a handful of sweets. I clung to her arm tight feeling too frightened to ever let her go again. We sat up watching TV with our stash of sweets between our legs until we fell asleep. I liked laying my head on her chest, I could hear her heart beat and feel her chest slowly rise as she breathed. Now and then her stomach would make bubbly sounds and I would giggle “mummy your belly is making bubble noises!”, I’d take deep breaths in, smelling her in a non creepy way, because she had what I called ‘the mummy smell, it was the most homely and comforting smell ever. Mama’s absences become a frequent occurrence and like the clingy baby orang-utan that I am, I went in search of her every time. I’d wander the silent streets in attempt to locate ‘Yaz’, I would be redirected by her ‘friends’ who I knew of to the place she was seen last. By 4 AM I’ve walked miles, I’ve passed many roads I had never heard of up until now; I think my school is in fact closer to home than this flat I was sent to. I’d got to the location expecting cuddles and shared tears of joy instead I got the opposite, my mum wasn’t very happy the first time I did this it’s like she went to other places on purpose, so I wouldn’t find her. Honestly, I really could not be out of her company for even five minutes. It was literally the worst thing on the planet for me. Still is.
My night’s adventures or shall I say morning? Whilst twinny was fast asleep with his Xbox controller still in his hand, I had made myself useful for Joe; once telling me where my mum had vanished to, he would then give me a sweet or crisp packet and then make clear instructions I must not lose it and I had to give it to a man called so and so. I hadn’t taken in what I had now got myself into but I didn’t care as long as I found my mum at the end of the day. I think it’s obvious that I wasn’t carrying snacks even if it looked like it, the very last time I did it was when I had to collect a bag of nuts and bring it back to my mum as she was too high to leave the house. It would be very useful if I could put all this on my CV, since this means I’m willing to walk miles to deliver ‘mail’, I guess I a team player, reliable and defiantly fit for a job at Royal Mail.
Daddy suspected things were getting worse at home, he’d only just been made aware there were social workers investigating our mum. I recall one particular Sunday evening; dad dropped us home after our usual weekend with him. Mum had visibly lost a lot of weight and dad hadn’t said anything but I know he noticed. Yaz was a beautiful and tall woman that all the men would chase, she reminded me of Marilyn Monroe; she had a lovely curvy frame with small waist, short blonde hair that she would stick rollers in overnight; green and grey eyes that I wish she had passed down to me and more chains than a jewellery shop. I always knew when she was near as you could hear all her chains clinking together with each step. The only time this was handy was when I was sneaking biscuits out of the biscuit tin. Her fingers were covered with rings which wasn’t pleasant on the skin when we were being disciplined, there wasn’t as many now as she had sold a lot of her rings and a few chains. Drugs had ruined my mum down to the soul, that sparkle in her eye had faded and I knew she wasn’t happy with her actions, except it was all a cover; a front for something rather darker and deeper. Something happened to her and it would take years before she opened up about it. Mama told daddy, I stood there holding her hand a little afraid to what dad will do or say, what if he tried to take us away? Hand us to authorities? Instead he was patient, understanding and wanted to do all he could to support her. Mum broke down in tears and it had been the first time I really saw her cry or even openly talk about her addiction to anyone. Mama always told me my daddy was always going to be the love of her life, the one that got away; even if they clashed a lot and would bicker until early morning. He was the one good thing she had and she regretted letting him go. In my opinion I believe she let him go because she thought she wasn’t good enough for him, she wasn’t fertile and the NHS would not support another pregnancy. He would have to give up the promise of other children; it had taken her years just to get us.
On her shelf amongst family pictures, she had a framed Photograph of Lord Robert Winston next to Princess Diana who she adored; she had even recorded her funeral on VHS. Lord Robert Winston was her main support through the whole IVF procedure. I was to finally meet him for the second time, (if you count the time I was a tiny egg in a test-tube) at the end of the year of 2016. He is a wonderful and inspirational man that I hold a lot of respect for, twinny and I owe our existence to him.
My mum and dad were passing stars, he brought happiness to a lost and misunderstood soul and tragically in this life it was not to be, no matter how hard I wished we could be a family. Dad met a great woman who I was not to get on with for majority of my childhood, a little out of jealousy that I was no longer the only Princess in his life, but also because I was still plotting all the ways I could get my parents back together. By my nineteenth birthday I had realised how happy my dad was and how cruel I was to be trying to sabotage it. I only hoped mama would find happiness too.
Dad wasn’t sure how to help mum or what the right words were to say; instead he left and returned with two weeks worth of groceries. Finally mama accepted help and got herself a place in a little rehab clinic in Angel, Islington. I would take the day of school to make sure she attended and I would sit in the waiting room for what felt like hours, colouring. On her second visit she showed me a little dot they taped to her ear, she said that if she pressed it the little dot release a chemical and take away her cravings for drugs. To a child it was a new toy, I wanted to press it every second “leave my ear alone T” she would sigh annoyed. Over the few months since her drug counselling started, she would have relapses that were very intense for everyone in the house, but she always picked herself back up again, she had twinny and I to fight for this time. Although this was very brave of her and an accomplisment it should have pleased the social services but after a phone call from an anonymous caller they wanted to take action and put us into the system, this was never going to happen under mama’s watch.
Everything got very tense very quick, mama had a bad relapse in her treatment and her drug binges had left us without a penny to our name and she had missed payments on the rent. I was woken to bailiffs putting metal barriers over the ground floor windows and had just started to work on boarding up the door. I walked into the kitchen that was now cast into an apocalyptic darkness, the drills roaring through the brick as they secured them, Reece and I screamed and clung to mum as she pleaded with them to give her more time, she dialled number after number asking for anyone to loan her the money. After a couple of hours mama was able to raise majority of the rent and made a deal with the bailiffs to pay the rest of in a week, this moment would stick in my mind forever especially when our social worker and a co-worker turned up at the front door straight after. Victoria was kind and had a good heart, except she was now our least favourite person in the world as she explained why she had arrived; a black car was parked in front of the door, our carriage to hell. “Mummy!” I screamed, I wrapped my arms around her waist, she held us behind her like a lioness with her cubs. “Leave us!” her voice trembled with fear, there were a lot of cuss words thrown from her that I won’t repeat, “you aint havin’ my babies!”, the social services remained professional and adamant they would take us that day, one even put their foot in the door so she couldn’t close it, they tried to calm her down and explain why they had to take us away but mama wasn’t hearing any of it. “I’m staying with my mummy!” I screamed at Victoria; she may appear to be the villain in this story but I can remember her face and she really didn’t enjoy one part of this. Mama’s temper broke and she let go of me, in rage she pushed them both away and slammed the door in their face; bolt locking it after. I ran back into her arms as they spoke through the letter box, I remember my mama screaming back at them, Reece clinging to her t-shirt, I was in her arms crying. “Miss Thompson, you are frightening your children”, in all honesty it was not my mum that was frightening me, it was two strangers trying to get us to go into the back of their blank car with tinted win
We hardly played outside after that, mum kept an eye on us like a hawk she even took us and collected us from school. Sometimes I regrettably wished I was out in a children’s home simply because mama could be mean when she wanted to, I thought children’s homes were like in the children’s TV show ‘Tracy Beaker’, a lot of people used to say I looked like her because of my curly hair. I mainly wished it when me and mama had arguments, our fights would go on for hours and my temper tantrums would go on for days. I am very like my mum in so many ways which is why we would clash often. Especially when it came down to having her short temper, I’d throw plates at her and she’d have the wooden spoon raised and ready. A lot of ‘perfect’ parents would faint at the thought of someone beating their child, of course it hurt and there were times when I had to cover bruises with makeup, but mama would never hit us spontaneously, that is when I believe it is abuse. We only got hit when we didn’t listen after she raised her voice. “if you don’t hear, you feel” she would always say, I was a brat when the tantrums kicked in and I wouldn’t blame her one bit because I knew what I was doing, I would push at all the right buttons until she snapped, mostly this occurred if I hadn’t got my own way. Mum was not an abusive mother and had never abused any of her children in any way; she would always plead for our forgiveness after and felt horrible if she hit us, it was all made up with a bowl of ice cream. Back in the day children got it worse than us, mama got more than the spoon, she had a belt and her dad also grated a bar of soup between her teeth when she said the word ‘fuck’ in front of him. That is too far but I really don’t think people should tell people how to discipline other people’s children. Unless their methods are barbaric and because the parent enjoys inflicting pain, I’d like to make it clear we rarely got physically disciplined, a lot of the time we were sent to our bedrooms and deprived of pudding after dinner. Again, our generation got it easier compared to our parents.